DESTINATIONS IN BERD REGION

Aghjkakar
Aghjkakar or Aghjkaberd fortress is located 3.5 kilometers south-west of the village of Aygedzor, on top of the woody Aghjkakar hill. It is surrounded by high rocks and pyramidal fences. The fortress is dated to the 10-13th centuries.
All buildings of the fortress, including the dwelling facilities, two reservoirs, bathhouse, the church with cross-shaped layout, as well as the fence are built from blue basalt, with strong mortar. This fortress is of huge historical and archeological importance, due to its preserved integrity.
Tavush Castle
Tavush castle or Tslik Amram castle is a medieval citadel on the outskirts of the town of Berd in Tavush region of RA, on the right bank of Tavush river, in Tavush province of Utik region of historical Mets Hayk.
The date of Tavush castle establishment is unknown, but first references date back to the early 10
th century mentioning it as the residence of deputy kings of Ashot Yerkat (mostly Tslik Amram). In the 10-11th centuries the fortress belonged to Kyurikyan branch of Bagratuni dynasty; in 12-13th centuries it belonged to Zakaryan family.
Since late 14
th century, the castle was abandoned and gradually went to ruin. Tavush comprised an acropolis and the lower fortress. The acropolis sat on the narrow (maximum width equaling to 25 meters) tongue of the hilltop, edged with steep rocks. The remnants of the fence, fortified with semi-cylindrical pyramids (up to 12 meter high, built from cobble-stones and cut andesites), have been preserved in the eastern and north-western parts. The entrance was located at the southern part. No traces of buildings are left in this area. The acropolis extended to the north, covering a small lower hill where the entrance was placed.
The lower fortress was situated at the eastern foot of the acropolis where the remnants of fence of cyclopean masonry with huge cut stones, walls of single-nave church, traces of dwelling quarters and utility rooms have been preserved. Drinking water was brought to the lower fortress from Glglan springs in the southern part by clay waterpipes (remnants have been preserved).
The castle with all its buildings is reduced to ruins now; however, the recent excavations have identified some pottery and other items which are being preserved on the territory of the castle.
Khoranashat Monastery

The monastery of Khoranashat is one of the four monastery complexes of the historical Tavush region in Northern Armenia.
The monastery was founded in the early 13
th century due to efforts of Hovhannes priest, along the north-eastern borders of Chinari village. Hovhannes priest had many students here, including prominent figures of spiritual culture Kirakos Gandzaketsi, Vardan Areveltsi, Grigoris Aghtamartsi and others.
This renowned center of medieval education comprises the church, narthex, chapel of St. Kiraki, monk dwellings and two graveyards. The whole complex had been fenced (now half ruined).
The
main church was built in 1211-1222. It was a cross-shaped dome church, but the layout proportions significantly differed from those of similar type churches.
The semi-circular high altar, divided into 14 niches is built in the eastern part of the oratory, with two-storeyed sacristies at both sides; rectangular alcoves lie in the west.
The narthex (attached to the church from the west) was built in 1253. It belongs to four-pillar churches type, with sacristies in the eastern corners.
The chapel
is distinguished by animal sculptures found to the right and to the left from the western entrance, as well as inside.
Kiraki Church
The Kiraki Church (13th century) is built to the south of the main one.
To the east of the complex, beyond the fence another, half-ruined church resembling St. Kirakos church is situated, along with a medieval cemetery where, probably, the founder of the monastery Hovhannes priest was buried, and a winged cross-stone with tracery.
Kaptavank

Kaptavank church is situated 5 kilometers south-west of the village of Chinchin, on the right side of Hakhum river, in a forest clearing, at 1378 meters above the sea level. It was founded in the 13th century.
Odzakar Fortress
1.5 kilometers west of Paravakar village, on top of Tsits Kar cliff sits Odzakar fortress. It was built in the 10-16th centuries and is dilapidated nowadays.
Varagavank
Varagavank is an Armenian monastery complex in Tavush region, 3.5 kilometers south-west of the village of Varagavan, on a high cliff surrounded by woody mountains. The monastery was founded by king David II Kyurikyan in 1193-1198; later his grandson Vasak II enlarged the complex in 1234-1237. The monastery also acts as the shrine of Kyurikyan dynasty.
The entrance of the narthex has splendid embellishment, decorated by the coat of arms of Vache I Vachutyan, prince of princes, depicting two eagles. There are cross-stones near the monastery; the largest of them was created in 1620.
Shkhmuradi Monastery
The Shkhmuradi monastery complex is situated in a beautiful valley on the left bank of Varagajur (Hakhum) river in Tavush region of RA, to the south-west of the village of Tsaghkavan. The monastery complex was constructed in the 12-13th centuries.
Shkhmurad has been a center of culture and enlightenment for the people living in villages along the middle and upstream flow of Varagajur river, as well as a famous pilgrimage spot. The monastery complex had a rounded fence and monk cells, now ruined. There is a village settlement and Shkhmurad cemetery nearby, to the east of the monastery.
The monastery was built from cruciform grey stones; it has one high altar and four small altars built on one another, and two doors overlooking the west and the south. It comprises the church (built in 1184), two narthexes and a chapel. The vaulted hall hosts two pilasters. The narthexes are placed in the southern and western parts of the monastery. The narthex has a square layout with a pair of octahedral pillars which extend to the central part and then to the opening above. The length of the monastery is 9 meters, and width 7.4 meters. Some of the inscriptions have faded to non-readability, while the cross monument has remained standing on the south-western arched facade of the monastery.